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Our Nation Mourns

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EDITOR: Murder has raised its ugly head again in our small nation, and this time it is of a well known and well loved personality. {{more}}

The seemingly random slaughter of our people, attacks on citizens from all walks of life and the apparent inability of the security forces to halt or retard some of these murders are raising the levels of anxiety within the society. What is the reason for this barbaric behaviour in our country? When did our people get so wicked, to hate one another so much that we can actually kill a young man and leave him in his vehicle – that family members have to discover him in that state? Have we no heart! What could anyone, and Glen in this situation, have done to another human being to deserve a death like that.

Too many of these crimes have gone unsolved. This especially draws close to home for me as one of the unsolved murders is that of my young cousin in who was brutally murdered in her home in Questelles in September 1999. Her relatives and loved ones still await answers!!

Tackling crime must now be seen as a major priority for almost all of the Caribbean nations which have seen marked increases over the last couple of years. And this is not something that the governments of the region will be able to do alone.

It is times like these that we need to call on as much assistance as possible, and to involve decision makers at every level. The security forces need the help of citizens of goodwill to flush out the criminals from the various communities, and they have to redouble their efforts in investigating crime. They must also be given the appropriate tools and support to do the job.

Fighting crime warrants no political divide, it calls for unification across political boundaries. Crime is a priority in our country. It needs the undivided attention of both the government and the opposition. Crime cuts through all spheres of society, and families though they may grieve differently suffer the loss of a loved one in much the same way. Unless there is a justice system that is working in a way that makes appropriate examples of the criminals, there will come a time when Vincentians will feel obliged to take matters into their own hands.

Increasingly, too, citizens must take greater responsibility for their own safety. Some of the crimes committed at times could be quite random and arbitrary and there is very little that the police might be able to do in the circumstances to prevent them. But saying “It can’t happen to us” gives a false sense of security, and does nothing to protect us from criminal elements. At the very least, however, to the extent that there is some closure resulting from arrest and conviction, then the society can have an assurance that all is not lost.

The current government will never be able to solve all of the problems being faced by Vincentians, many would not have been created by them, but many will also form part of their legacy. A government’s mission is to protect and improve the lives of its people, so that we will be better off for your interventions. The issue of crime is a serious one. It must be dealt with urgently.

To Glenn’s family, relatives, friends, I express my deepest condolences on behalf of my own family. Take comfort in knowing that Glenn made his mark in society and lived a full life. He will never be forgotten. He will always be our very best Friend.

A distraught citizen

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